10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

These 10 tips for Etsy sellers can help you if you are just starting a store or hoping to boost your existing business. A year ago I would have laughed at the idea of giving Etsy advice to others. I started my store in November 2018 and I didn’t hit 100 sales until May 17, 2019. While I had a good foundation and strategy for having a successful store, there were a few things that I needed to do in order to get there. I did some research and made a few changes and I celebrated 1,600 sales yesterday! It’s not particularly significant, but I only got to 1,000 sales two months ago and sales are growing exponentially.

By the way, if you want to start a store and enjoy 40 free listings (for 4 months worth $0.20 each) click this link to register and I’ll get free listings too once you open a store.

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

1. Create New Listings Regularly

Not every store is equipped for regular new listings. But the Etsy algorithm seems to favor stores who steadily create listings. I always notice a boost in sales a day or two after adding something new to the store. Knowing this, I will sometimes wait strategically to add new items to maintain a regular rhythm. A few weeks ago I actually deleted over 90 listings and sales did slow down for about a week. It’s not an exact science but it has worked for me, so it’s worth a try!

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

2. Update/Upgrade Your Listings

I have a full time job, I freelance write for various publications, and I write daily on this blog (plus I have a very neglected YouTube channel). Sometimes when I add a new listing, it’s all bare bones with a generic description and one or two photos because I just don’t have the time to spruce it up. Etsy doesn’t seem to penalize lazy listings. However, whenever I take the time to add photos and improve them, I see a rise in sales! Knowing this, I will sometimes create a bad listing just to keep the momentum going and then I’ll update it a few days later.

Etsy also likes listings with unique descriptions and quality photos. They have recently added a function for 15-second videos about your listings. While only 50% of users can see these videos at the moment, they will be 100% public in a few weeks. My store got the honor of being one of the beta testers so I already have over 100 video listings ready to go! This also prompted me to retake photos on some older listings and make everything better. Did it help? Ask the 600 sales I got in just two months!

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

3. Free Shipping: 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers

This one is obvious but can be difficult to execute. People are obsessed with free shipping. I myself have been ready to spend $50 and changed my mind when I saw an $8 shipping fee. Why? No clue. It’s not really about the cost. Studies from as long as six years ago show that customers prefer and even expect free shipping.

Lab42 released data a couple of years ago that found 96 percent of online consumers are more likely to shop on a site if it offers free shipping. The same study also noted that 87 percent of online consumers are more likely to shop on a site if it offers free returns.”

Inc.com

You may be thinking that you’ll lose money by offering free shipping. Well, if you offset the costs of your products then it’s not that bad. Take it from someone who sells earrings for an average price of $8.99. If I sell just one, the profit is measly after I pay the Etsy and shipping costs. But if I sell two, the profit is suddenly looking up!

If I was selling these same earrings for $4.99 (which I do at craft fairs) plus shipping, I’d make a steady profit on every item, which would be great. But I’d make less if people bought two items for $4.99 + shipping than I would if they bought two items for $8.99 and I paid the shipping costs myself. So I simply incentivize customers to buy more than one pair and it makes up for every single-item sale.

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

4. Quick Shipping

Before living in the USA, I spent two years living in China. One of these years I lived right next to JD (a Chinese online store similar to Amazon.) The record delivery time was four hours, but 24 was pretty standard and I grew accustomed to getting what I ordered IMMEDIATELY. Yes, I was spoiled and the two-day shipping on Amazon was disappointing in comparison. I was even more shocked when it took weeks for my Etsy purchases to arrive.

So, I made shipping speed a priority. I only sell ready-made items and I ship them out the same day I receive the order. Even though I use the slowest and cheapest form of shipping, my customers get their earrings or necklaces in two to four days. This has gotten me glowing reviews and Etsy even advertises it as a store with ‘lightning-fast shipping.’ I also make sure to create the label immediately when an order comes in. This labels the order as ‘shipped’ and notifies the customer that the order is being prepared. They can track it and know if it hasn’t actually been sent off yet, but it makes a great impression. Speaking of labels…

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

5. Buy Labels Through Etsy

I don’t know why but the first few months that I had my store, I did not buy my shipping labels through Etsy. I was shocked at how expensive it was to send things, even domestically! Then I created a label through Etsy and was pleasantly surprised at how much cheaper it was. It is the same concept as Ebay – these companies just get a better deal. In case you are curious, it costs between $2.5 and $3.5 to send something locally, depending on the state.

If you choose not to use an Etsy label, make sure to give the tracking number to the client when you mark the item as shipped. I have had bad experiences where things got lost in the mail or got delayed and customers were NOT happy. Although there is nothing that a seller can do once a package is in the hands of the USPS, customers still expect you to deal with it and potentially refund them.

In the long run, it’s better to make a few refunds than to loose potentially returning customers. I have even gotten positive reviews for items that never arrived due to forces that were not in my control. I still get frustrated when this happens and I try to take my own advice and look at the big picture instead of dwelling on my losses.

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

6. Add A Personal Touch

Consumers these days can feel like cattle. We are drowned in ads for items that we don’t need and sometimes don’t even want. When we buy them we often feel buyers remorse. Or maybe I’m just speaking for myself? Anyway, it doesn’t take much to make a customer feel valued. I write handwritten notes to every single customer that orders from me.

I keep track of repeat customers and I refer to them by name and thank them for the items they purchased. This makes me feel good, makes them feel appreciated, and results in great reviews. This was more fun when I had one or two notes to write a day and is quite daunting when I wake up to 22 orders, but it has been worth the time spent.

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

7. Think About the Planet

People care about the environment and want to see things packaged in reused or recycled materials. My shopping habits are by no means eco-friendly, but I make up for it by reusing all the packaging I receive. Don’t get me wrong, sorting through tiny jewelry bags, bubble wrap and used envelopes is a nightmare. But it makes a difference.

One Amazon envelope creates six packages for me and I make sure to let my customers know. If I sent them a mess of tape and bubble-wrap with no explanation, it would not be appreciated. But the previously-mentioned handwritten note explains that all packaging materials are reused or recycled. I have sent over 1,100 orders and the only materials I ever bought were paper to print the labels and packing tape. Lots of tape. Many of the positive reviews on my store mention the reusable packaging.

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

8. Offer Something Extra

It doesn’t take much or cost much to give a small gift. Since I sell earrings and necklaces, I will always send a customer a pair of stainless steel earrings or a necklace pendant. It costs me so little and it not only brings the customer joy, but they often mention it in their reviews and end up coming back. My biggest concern is remembering which gift I have given to whom.

With so many returning customers I worry that they have already received my go-to pizzas, mushrooms and cupcakes. In an ideal world, I would make notes on what I had given as gifts so that I would never accidentally send something twice. Then again, these are extras so I doubt that anyone would ever complain if they received a second pair of free cute earrings. But I do hope to create a better system that isn’t too time-consuming and makes sure that my customers are happy.

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

9. Sales and Coupons

Etsy automatically offers coupons to returning customers, to people who favorite your store or to those who have had something in their cart for a period of time. Note, you need to enable this feature in your store’s settings. When I first started the store, I also created a coupon to give 50% off to friends and family. I ended up giving it to a select few returning customers as well – specifically two ladies who have each ordered over 50 pairs of earrings from me. Would they have come back and bought this much anyway? Maybe. Does it hurt me to reward my best customers? No.

There is an important difference between sales and coupons. Sales are available for anyone to see and find online. Coupons can only be used by people who find them. I may be wrong but I don’t think that extensions such as Honey can find them. I use these when I advertise an item in my articles or for special occasions or select customers. Sales are a different animal.

My store was pretty much dead until I took advantage of the holidays. I was at less than 300 sales when I offered 50% off EVERYTHING on the weekend of Black Friday. I followed up with 25% off EVERYTHING all of December and part of January. Not only did I make a bunch of sales, but this started the momentum that lead to me reaching 1,000 sales on June 2nd and 1,600 sales on July 27th. The loss of profit for that month was well worth it and I’m planning on doing a similar sale this year.

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

10. Advertise: 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers

I was hesitant to pay Etsy even more money for advertising. They have a disclaimer that it takes some time to work but after a month of no sales from ads, I angrily stopped using them. The great thing is that you choose how much to spend and you can turn it off whenever. However, if someone adds an advertised item to their cart, you will still get charged if they buy it after you turn ads off.

I currently spend $2 a day to advertise over 340 listings and I get at least 10 sales every month from them. They are very transparent and show you how much you have earned from them vs. how much you’d spent. I have turned them on and off several times in the past year but plan on keeping them on $2 a day for the foreseeable future. These ads push your listings when people search on Etsy but they also advertise on Pintrest and other social media platforms.

You should also consider having a Facebook page and Instagram account to do your own promotions. I am not the greatest at this but I still get quite a few views from Facebook when I remember to post new listings on the page. I have even tried paying to advertise the listings via Facebook and although my views soared, the number of sales did not improve.

Do be careful with doing stuff that could bring in views but not sales. There are people on websites such as Fiverr that offer views for a small fee. These are not fake and do bring views, but usually not paying customers. Keep in mind that Etsy has an algorithm that tracks your conversion rate. This means the number of sales compared to views. If you have a lot of view and no sales, this could harm your store’s standing.

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

Summary

Etsy is a great way to sell fun, beautiful, unique and creative items. I never saw myself as a business person and was always wary of selling things to people. I even switched my major form business management to international relations a month into university. However, Etsy is a little different. It’s not pushing products on people who don’t want to buy them. People only come to you because they like what you are selling. The things you make and send brighten up their days and put smiles on their faces.

I don’t plan on getting rich selling earrings on Etsy. But I do hope to make enough to keep the store going and to prove my husband wrong – I am not the only person in the world who loves silly, food-themed earrings. I hope that my article gave you some great tips and that you are successful on Etsy. Check out my Etsy store, Everyfelt, and see for yourself that these 10 tips for Etsy sellers are not just incoherent babbling – they actually work!

By the way, if you want to start a store and enjoy 40 free listings (for 4 months worth $0.20 each) click this link to register and I’ll get free listings too once you open a store.

Follow The Travel Bug Bite for more great content!

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

10 Tips for Etsy Sellers, 10 Tips for Etsy Sellers to Boost Sales, The Travel Bug Bite

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